FEMAC was a three-semester career development program for female postdocs and habilitation candidates at the University of Vienna, conducted in English.
Implementing organizationUniversity of Vienna - Gender Equality and Diversity unit /
Implemented at the University of Vienna from 2016 to 2019
Relation to gender equality targets
In accordance with the Development Plan 2020 the University of Vienna strives to improve opportunities for female academics aspiring to a successful academic career, particularly during the post-doctoral phase and up to the point of a professorial appointment. (Development Plan 2020, Chapter 2.7.) As a measure devised specifically for this target group, FEMAC aids female academics in positioning themselves more pronouncedly within the highly competitive system of higher education. By transferring academic “softskills” via coaching and training sessions, FEMAC promotes equal opportunities for female academics.
The objective(s) of the tool
FEMAC intended to give female post-docs an opportunity to re-consider their current profile, their academic standing, and future career options, and to support them in reaching their professional goals. It also aimed at de-individualizing experiences of discrimination in the academic world, for example by establishing a peer network. FEMAC is designed to help “fix” the “leaky pipeline.”
Description of the tool
FEMAC was a three-semester career development program for female postdocs and habilitation candidates at the University of Vienna, conducted in English. Coaching sessions given by academic coaches with extensive knowledge of the national higher education landscape in combination with (female-) expert-led training sessions that introduced international perspectives, formed the program’s foundation. Small, interdisciplinary coaching groups (approx. 6 participants per group) were designed to establish a peer network and to specifically foster exchange between participants. Twelve participants were accepted into the program, selected according to various criteria (academic career advancement, subject field, language requirements). The program received financial support from the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF).
How the tool works, practical experience
Halfway through the program, participants’ experiences and feedback were gathered via an online Survey.